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Making Change Together

We are passionate about working with you to create change that matters
We engage communities, grow relationships, build strategies and create tools to support people and places to flourish.

to catalyse is to activate and synergiseso that the result is more than the sum of the contributing parts.Very often almost no trace of the catalyst is visible,except to those most closely involved

social change agency auckland


We believe that good change is possible

We also believe that local people know a lot about what can work best for them and their places. Every group of people and every place has strengths, and the capacity to adapt and thrive. So, like a catalyst, we inspire, support and facilitate positive change by engaging communities and organizations to imagine and create good lives for each and all people and place.


We do this by bringing a collective hunger for positive change together with professional services, local leadership and participation. Our services are strategy, research, evaluation, design, community engagement and placemaking.


We also initiated and deliver the Kūmara Awards and Ako Ako webinar series nationally for Placemaking Aotearoa as well as chair Grow Space here in Tāmaki Makaurau.


We collaborate with others across Aotearoa in our roles at Inspiring Communities, Powerdigm and Placemaking Aotearoa and internationally with IACD (Scotland), PlacemakingX (USA) and Synergia Institute (Canada).

Activating good change takes us to a wide range of places and sees us work with a huge variety of innovative people. Recently, we have been growing capacity for locally-led placemaking in Hibiscus Coast and Bays area, engaging local people in tactical urbanism in Takapuna, evaluating community- engagement in Timaru District, community event organising and delivery in Tagalad Reserve, and project management with Youthline.

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We love our work! 

Catalyse is a multidisciplinary team of trusted, curious and skilled collaborators.




Skills and knowledge
we offer

Our team
and partners

Samples of what
we have done

Our 'Why'
and 'How'

Tools you might
find useful

that inspire us

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We are happy to talk!

If you would like to explore working with us to create good change in your community, book a free conversation


Brave, Generous and Humble

The fields of “community development”, “community empowerment”, “placemaking” and myriad other terms that have become catch cries in inverted commas are difficult, emotional and highly complex landscapes to traverse. There are very few people/organisations who are able to make these journeys with the level of kindness, skill, empathy and wisdom that Catalyse brings. Working between the extremes of knowing that what exists in community needs to be protected, and knowing that our systems need to change, Denise and her team are consistently brave, generous and resolutely humble.

 — Frith Walker

Head of Placemaking
Eke Panuku Development Auckland

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First-rate Community Development

Denise is a first-rate community development theoretician, practitioner, consultant, presenter, facilitator, trainer and mentor. She helps communities and organizations to plan their own direction and to identify and build on their own strengths. Incredibly well networked across New Zealand and beyond, Denise enables different sectors and places to learn from one another and to coalesce for more powerful and holistic results.

Jim Diers

Community Builder, Consultant
Lecturer and Facilitator, Seattle

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